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!!WITHDRAWN!! Vintage Bruni Brunella lever machine (Mel)

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  • !!WITHDRAWN!! Vintage Bruni Brunella lever machine (Mel)

    Good evening all,

    Ive recently finished a few project machines, so time has come for them to venture out into the big wide world again and make fantastic espresso for someone.

    First up a cherry red 1972 Bruni Brunella.

    Heres what Doug from Orphan Espresso has to say about this machine:

    Manufactured by A. Bruni, Milan Italy is a stunning design from the 1960s with some very well executed engineering concepts.

    The piston is designed to screw off the rod to relax the spring, therefore piston seals can be easily changed without the use of clamps or even removal of the lever. The Brunella has some parts in common with the Caravel and the La Peppina, with a 45mm filter basket, strong spring, and exquisite long lever handle. Unique boiler design with the heating element in the base of the machine which also contains the bottom part of the water reservoir, makes the large front skirt, when the water is hot, warm enough to serve as a cup warmer. Very ingenious machine. Simple, elegant and it produces very good espresso.


    I have to agree with Doug, the Brunella is wonderfully elegant and simple, and features a very effective saturated spring lever group. The water is heated in the base, then rises, flows around the central lever housing and then down again to the base for the cycle to begin again.

    Its also a fantastic looking thing - its almost like a kids drawing, full of exuberance!

    Whats been done:

    Fully stripped down, seals replaced, reassembled, tested, modified and tested again. In all Id estimate around 30-40 hours of labour.

    I got this machine from Italy in fairly good condition, but sadly without the original drip tray grille. I have made a replica from photos sourced on the H-B lever forum. In testing I found the original thermostat ran the machine too cold, and the water in the upper chamber only heated to around 85 degrees. So I pulled it out again and retrofitted a unit with a rating of 100 degrees. This basically is now acting as a safety switch, because the boiler is open it will never reach 100 degrees in normal operation. Instead, you just let it boil for a few seconds then switch it off from the switch on the cord. The brew water is then around 94 degrees in the top chamber. Could not be simpler.

    The coffee this machine produces is quite interesting - actually I think the spring pressure is on the lower side giving a very mellow, smooth flavour.

    One other nice feature of the machine is that it is quite hard to run dry - the lower chamber will not empty during normal use as its below the group. Clever!

    Condition - Really nice. Only two paint chips on the body, and one water mark right of the Brunella label.

    Photos ensue - Any questions, please ask.

    My price is $650, firm.












  • #2
    re: !!WITHDRAWN!! Vintage Bruni Brunella lever machine (Mel)

    Originally posted by 6C777D75417C71707A1E0 link=1338033130/0#0 date=1338033130
    This basically is now acting as a safety switch, because the boiler is open it will never reach 100 degrees in normal operation. Instead, you just let it boil for a few seconds then switch it off from the switch on the cord. The brew water is then around 94 degrees in the top chamber. Could not be simpler.
    Hi Rick,
    Just to clarify the above, are you saying that you should do the let boil / switch off routine before pulling each coffee?
    Cheers
    BOSW

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    • #3
      re: !!WITHDRAWN!! Vintage Bruni Brunella lever machine (Mel)

      Hi Barry,

      Yep thats what Ive found works for me. Although, once the body of the machine is up to temperature the water stays hot for a while. By dropping a thermocouple into the kettle I found it was about 94 degrees at the group after it had been boiling for around 10 seconds. Then it slowly cools from there until you turn it on to boil again. So you can pretty much have any temperature you like, just by timing the pull from boiling point.

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      • #4
        re: !!WITHDRAWN!! Vintage Bruni Brunella lever machine (Mel)

        Thanks very much Rick. Im still working out what (if anything) Im doing for 2nd machine, but Ill keep this in mind. Great looking device.
        Cheers
        BOSW

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        • #5
          re: !!WITHDRAWN!! Vintage Bruni Brunella lever machine (Mel)

          No worries.

          As with all these lever projects, I wont be too disappointed if it hangs around my house a while longer ;D

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          • #6
            This is exactly what i am looking for but in the green color..... I have looked everywhere any ideas where i could find one.????

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            • #7
              Originally posted by shyloemiller View Post
              This is exactly what i am looking for but in the green color..... I have looked everywhere any ideas where i could find one.????
              Have you tried Sorrentina coffee they have a number of rare lever machines for sale .
              Last edited by NakiChap; 15 November 2012, 09:17 AM.

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              • #8
                Great looking machine !!
                Are you saying the spring needs more tension to produce a stronger coffee ? And is that adjustable ?
                I don't understand the spring system as I have only ever used a Pavoni .

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                • #9
                  Hi B.Mitchell, the spring tension is generally not adjustable, but I guess you could add spacers to the piston to increase the spring tension. Not sure it would be a good idea though - I think the designers chose the slightly weaker spring for a reason.

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                  • #10
                    Mods, can you please mark this thread as Withdrawn - I'd actually forgotten this was still here and I've decided to keep the machine

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